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Inventive Activities, Patents and Early Industrialization. A Synthesis of Research Issues

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  • Christine MacLeod
  • Alessandro Nuvolari

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of recent research on the role of patent systems in the early phases of industrialization. Perhaps surprisingly, no consensus has been reached yet as to whether the emergence of modern patent systems exerted a favourable impact on inventive activities. However, the recent literature has shed light on a number of fundamental factors which affect the links between inventive activities and the patent system. The concluding section of the paper outlines some "history lessons" for the current debate on the role of Intellectual Property Rights in economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine MacLeod & Alessandro Nuvolari, 2006. "Inventive Activities, Patents and Early Industrialization. A Synthesis of Research Issues," DRUID Working Papers 06-28, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:06-28
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    Cited by:

    1. Joel Mokyr, 2009. "Intellectual Property Rights, the Industrial Revolution, and the Beginnings of Modern Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 349-355, May.
    2. James Bessen, 2010. "Communicating Technical Knowledge," Working Papers 1001, Research on Innovation.
    3. Nuvolari, Alessandro & Tartari, Valentina, 2011. "Bennet Woodcroft and the value of English patents, 1617-1841," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 97-115, January.
    4. Boldrin Michele & Levine David K., 2009. "Does Intellectual Monopoly Help Innovation?," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(3), pages 991-1024, December.
    5. Chen, Qiang, 2008. "The effect of patent laws on invention rates: Evidence from cross-country panels," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 694-704, December.
    6. Bjørn L. Basberg, 2015. "Amateur or professional? A new look at nineteenth-century patentees in Norway," Scandinavian Economic History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(1), pages 24-44, March.
    7. Julien Pénin, 2008. "More open than open innovation? Rethinking the concept of openness in innovation studies," Working Papers of BETA 2008-18, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    8. George Selgin & John L. Turner, 2011. "Strong Steam, Weak Patents, or the Myth of Watt's Innovation-Blocking Monopoly, Exploded," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 841-861.

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